Women’s Basketball Just Misses National Ranking, Men Look to Improve on 3-3 Record


Matthew Hamilton

Bri Gadaleta ‘23 helped rally the Bates Women’s Basketball team to a dominant 79-45 win over Clark University.

Women’s Basketball Sees Amazing 6-1 Season Start

Despite their incredibly hot start to the season, women’s basketball currently finds itself on the outside of the national rankings, according to D3 Hoops. Given their early season results, this is a travesty.

They handled no. 4 Bowdoin fairly easily in Brunswick this past week (74-70), and they only lost to no. 8 Amherst by six points earlier this season (54-60). This team is looking excellent, likely due to the number of offensive weapons they have: on any given day, they could have about six players lead in scoring. This makes them really tough to gameplan for. 

Meghan Graff ’23 leads the pack with her ability to effortlessly get into the paint and hit floaters. After Graff, the Bobcats have looked to Bri Gadaleta ’23 in the post; she has great footwork and has found success against opposing bigs. 

Meg Graff ‘23 has been a standout for the Bobcats this season, helping lead them to their impressive 6-1 record. (Matthew Hamilton)

Mia Roy ’22 has also been phenomenal for the Cats. She is the Bobcats’ best perimeter defender and has been an absolute nightmare for opposing guards to face. She has also spearheaded their high-powered transition offense with her speed and quickness. Morgan Kennedy ’24 has also been excellent – she has a really good euro-step move around the hoop and can absolutely stroke it from three. Kennedy was recently named Maine Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Co-Rookie of the Week, showcasing her rising talent. 

Seniors Amaari Williams and Ariana Dalia have been impressive as well. Williams is a one-woman fast break and is a great slasher to the rim with her ability to elevate over the defense and finish with either hand. Dalia has also been key for the Bobcats on the glass and on defense, as she is so strong in the paint and is able to overpower opposing bigs. 

All of these players – as well as even some others on the bench – can lead the Bobcats in scoring on any given night. They are going to be a tough scout for opposing NESCAC teams, and it is time that they gain some national recognition for how they’ve played thus far.

Men’s Basketball Starts Season with 3-3 Record

After a tough loss to Colby on Friday night (72-78), the Bates MBB team has fallen to a 3-3 record. However, there is a lot to look forward to with this team. For example, Jahmir Primer ’25, a walk-on from Long Island, has really broken out in the past couple games. 

He is absolutely lethal on the fastbreak; when he gets going downhill with a full head of steam, he’s tough to stop. He reminds me a bit of Ja Morant in that aspect, especially with his uncanny ability to take contact in the air and still finish through it. 

Jacob Iwowo ‘23 and the men’s team struggled against Colby College; their record now stands at 3-3. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

Stephen Ward ’24 – or should I say Draymond Green – has also been a spark plug for this team. It seems like he makes a key defensive play on every single possession, either getting a deflection or finding his way to a loose ball. Despite being an undersized big, he can really hold his own on the boards and serves as a great backup to Omar Sarr ’23. Don’t be surprised if his minutes tick up as the season goes on. 

Simon McCormick ’24 has also been a nice find for the Bobcats. The energy he brings on the defensive end is contagious to both his teammates and the crowd, and he’s shown an ability to stretch the floor with his three point shooting ability, often from a few feet behind the three point line. 

These guys, along with Steph Baxter ’23, Sarr, Jacob Iwowo ’23 and others, should be able to turn this team around come NESCAC time. Given how much the rotation has already changed from the beginning of the season, though, it’s unclear who will be the guys garnering minutes come NESCAC play. 

It seems like Coach Furbush is giving lots of guys a chance to earn minutes, so the rotation will depend on which of those guys make the most of their time on the court. Either way, the depth of the Bobcats is sure to help them out when they get into the thick of the season.